Classical Art Atelier
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    Adrian Cooke Classical Art Atelier
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Adrian Cooke Classical Art Atelier

Est. 2015

Adrian Cooke's Classical Art Atelier offers morning and evening courses and weekend and summer workshops in classical drawing and painting in the south of Ireland. These courses and workshops are suitable for anyone who is interested in learning or improving their skills in drawing and painting. So whether you're a complete beginner, an art student, or a more experienced amateur or professional artist, this timeless 'classical' approach to drawing and painting will benefit you.

The classical method is proving to be more and more popular today, as many artists are trying to reconnect with traditional methods and techniques.

Adrian Cooke Testimonials Venues
10% Art Supplies Discount!

We've teamed up with Cork Art Supplies to give you a 10% discount on all your art supplies for 12 months when you enrol for any one of our courses or workshops!

Adrian Cooke

Founder, Director & Instructor

Born in Annestown, Co. Waterford, Ireland, in 1977, Adrian Cooke has been working as an artist for over 25 years, initially pursuing an education and career in classical music - piano and music composition (1996-2002), and later spending 10 years working in graphic design.

Largely a self-taught visual artist, he began his training in classical drawing and painting in 2012, taking courses at The Drawing Studio, Dublin, Vitruvian Studio, Chicago, and Watts Atelier in California. He is continuing to study classical painting at the Florence Academy of Art this year. His first exhibition was a series of classical portraits and master copy drawings at 33 The Mall, Waterford, in 2014.

Music & The Arts

This kind of education in classical realist drawing and painting is just not available in mainstream third-level art colleges here in Ireland, so it was necessary for me to look elsewhere, at specialised international fine art academies, to learn these traditional painting and drawing techniques and practices. Hopefully, in turn, my school and I can now provide this much sought after training for other artists. Adrian Cooke, Artist and Director at Classical Art Atelier

Adrian works predominantly in traditional drawing and painting media, regarding these fundamental skills and techniques as essential building blocks for his own work. His artistic style, though, would be better described as Abstract Realism.


Classical Art Atelier

In 2015, Adrian established his own private art school, Classical Art Atelier, which operates at most major arts and education venues across the south of Ireland. He has been teaching there for the last 5 years, and his school has enrolled several hundred students to date from all kinds of artistic backgrounds, both amateur and professional, and from all over Ireland and abroad.

"I would readily apply the term ‘classical’ to all well-ordered works which satisfy the mind, not only by an accurate, noble, or lively rendering of sentiments and objects, but also by their unity and logical arrangements; in short, by all those qualities which enhance the impression by creating a final simplicity."

Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863)

The Atelier Method

An atelier (or 'studio') is a private workshop or studio of a professional fine artist, where the principal artist and a number of students and apprentices can work together producing pieces of fine art under the master's supervision.

Traditionally, the training a young artist received followed a set course, usually lasting four years, under the supervision and tutelage of a master artist at his atelier (or ‘studio’).

In the first year, the student apprentice copied master drawings and plaster casts using charcoal on paper. In year two, he would transfer his skills to live models. In year three, he would continue the same work but now using a black-and-white palette of oil paint known as grisaille, which allowed him to become acquainted with this new medium. Finally, in year four, he would use full palette of colour. This became known as ‘the atelier method’.

Until the mid to late nineteenth century, classical methods and techniques continued to be the standard by which art was taught and judged, and art academies modelled their tuition on this traditional atelier training.

Classical Drawing & Painting

Classical drawing and painting are not so much individual styles but rather an approach to drawing and painting that favours order, beauty, harmony and completeness. They follow principles that emerged from ancient classical civilizations and rely on methods and techniques that render subject matter in a realistic style. Perfected and codified during the Renaissance, these skills and ideas around design, line, value and form became the bedrock of artistic practice for many centuries.

Classical Realism

Although Modern Art triumphed over the academic style, many of its greatest figures - Van Gogh, Degas, Klimt, Picasso and others - were classically trained. In the 1960s, Classical Realism - a new style based on the old tradition - emerged, and since then there has been a growing resurgence of interest in these traditional methods and techniques of drawing and painting.


Read What Our Students Say

Classical Art Atelier is such a gift at a time when it is extremely difficult to find quality guidance in the arts. The instructors are both supportive and encouraging. I feel so much is now open to me... a clear understanding of what can be achieved. Mari Lynch
A marvellous weekend of intensive painting! Brian is an excellent teacher with a wealth of knowledge. I learned a lot from this, and look forward to putting it into practice. Kevin Power
A super workshop... with excellent tuition and hand-outs. I can recommend highly. Thank you so much. Margaret M. O'Brien
Delighted to be attending the figure drawing course again this Autumn. Adrian is a wonderful teacher, and the one-to-one critique is invaluable. And it's great to have a live model to draw. Jacqueline Bates-Gartlan
Thank you for sharing your knowledge freely. You made the workshop informative and progressive. Christopher Heaphy
I loved the class. It has given me a new lease of life, and I am seeing everything in a new light. Deirdre Falconer
I really learned a lot at the weekend workshop and definitely want to do more of your classes. It was very well planned, with just the right balance of theory and practice, and the notes to take away will be very useful. Eileen O'Carroll
I have to say that this was an excellent course. What impressed me most was the amount of preparation put into it. It was so good to see the course objectives clearly stated and with defined timelines. I think you set the right balance between 'tell' and 'do'. Also good support to all on the practical work. Thanks again, I'm inspired to keep practising! Carol Prowse


We run courses and workshops at most of the major arts centres in the south of Ireland.

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